Mikey Garcia Embraces Free Agency
With his pact with Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) ended, former four-division world champion Mikey Garcia signed a one-fight deal worth $7 million with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing and DAZN.
Garcia will compete under the Matchroom banner for at least one fight — he’ll take on former welterweight champion Jessie Vargas on February 29.
Garcia sat on the sidelines for about two-and-a-half years between 2014 and 2016 due to a contract dispute with his former promoter, Top Rank Boxing. Since then, Garcia has aimed to not lock himself into any long-term agreements, instead preferring to work bout-by-bout or on short-term deals with promoters.
Hearn has reportedly been chasing Garcia’s services for over a year, but Garcia, whose last fight with Errol Spence Jr. was the main event of a PBC pay-per-view event, made clear that he loves being able to work essentially as a free agent.
Now, Hearn will get Garcia for at least one fight.
“It was the right move, the right time and right fight at this stage of my career,” Garcia told Boxing Scene. “We’d been in conversations with Matchroom and DAZN for over a year and a half, but it had never gotten to the point where it made sense for both of us. Now it did. The fight and opponent makes sense for me.
I told Eddie Hearn, ‘I want to keep my freedom.’ My Matchroom deal is more of a partnership. We made it clear. Once the [Vargas] fight is over, we both have to have flexibility to discuss future fights together. I’m not tied down with long-term years, or fights.
“It was great [to be a free agent] because I can leverage and position myself. I don’t pit people against each other to bid to see who comes with a better purse. That’s unprofessional, but it does work sometimes. Since I represent myself, I sit at the table directly. I don’t say, ‘I got an offer from this guy. Can you do better?’ I just listen, and if it makes sense, I’ll continue the conversation more, and dig deeper.”
Garcia did also clarify that he and PBC advisor Al Haymon are still on good terms and he would not rule out going back to the brand in the near future — especially if he is able to land a fight with current WBA welterweight champ Manny Pacquiao.
“[Haymon] offered a lot of things, too, but this time I wanted to explore some things differently that made sense,” said Garcia. “I’ve done a lot of work with Al Haymon. In fact, we still have conversations about fighters I can face. We’re still working there. I don’t have anything negative to say about anybody. I didn’t leave on bad terms. We still have a great relationship with PBC.”
Original Story: Boxing Scene